Metaphors in music have been with us for centuries and many have argued that, without it, it leaves a big hole in the song and questions the creativity of the music artist.
I appreciate metaphors in rap music ( Not only that; I love Puns too ) and it is such a huge thrill for me if I hear more of it in a song. However, those insertions must be creative and meaningful to the ears. I will agree that, sometimes it’s difficult to understand these metaphors at the first listening; but you will be like “Ahhhhhhh” when you finally get the whole twist.
According to Google, Metaphor is defined as “A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.” And this will mean that, If I say something like “I am the wordpress of your blog” literally, what I mean is, without me, you have no foundation… What I just wrote may not be brilliant, but that is the idea behind the Metaphor thing…
I have argued most times that some of the rappers in Ghana; especially those doing TWI rap, make no sense in their rap. So one day, someone brought my attention to the use of Metaphors in TWI rap and that made me look more into this and paid attention to the lyrics more. Some of the rappers make them obvious and you can notice them easily whilst some rappers use metaphors we have heard almost everyday in our life time. Those are called the “Conventional Metaphors” Examples are “Cry Me A River“, “Tell That To The Birds“, “He is the black sheep in his family” etc… Because we hear them often, we don’t feel its impact in our ears…
Below are few artists I think use this figure of speech in their rap lines and very good at it. In no order or arrangement, check out the names of artists below…
If you listen to Medikal carefully, you will realize he uses Metaphors a lot in his rap lines. He does it so well that, people can easily relate and understand what he is trying to imply. Even though he does it in the TWI language, it is appealing to the ears and gentle on people who are not so much into Metaphors. This makes him stand out and I will rate him as one of my favourite rappers. ( Listen to his most recent track here )
This rapper is one of the most matured rappers in the country. His use of Metaphors are clever and deep! I have been listening to him for some years now; and trust me, he is the next biggest thing the lyrical world will witness blowing up and pouring unending lava. Listening to him will mean listening to wisdom and consuming the gift of lyricism. What he does can be defined by people as Proverbs or Parables—but that is what Metaphor is really about… ( Listen to his recent release here )
The award winning rapper has been hailed by more than half of the Ghanaian populace and many have ranked him as the best rapper in the country. One thing people do not know about Sarkodie‘s lyrics is the use of Metaphors. Personally, I have said he goes off the subject sometimes but listening closely, I think the use of some rap elements throws him away from the main topic and he carefully swims his way back.
Sarkodie uses more of the conventional Metaphors and these are the ones we hear almost everyday from our parents, friends and elders. This could be the reason why we don’t consider him to be deep or thought-provoking. I think he does that for marketing reasons. That is to say; he wants to sound commercial as much as he can… ( Listen To Take It Back )
This is another clever rapper Ghanaians have been sleeping on. What I noticed is that, the rappers with the clever and thought-provoking lyrics are the ones most Ghanaians pretend not to notice. I understand most Ghanaians are not really into clever schemes and complex metaphors; but this does not make him a less talented rapper. Until some of them realize these are things music lovers should pay attention to, our clever rappers won’t be recognized. Obibini said he is not ready to do party songs—so I guess only some of us will enjoy his songs now until Ghanaians grow to appreciate some rap elements such as Metaphors.
This rapper is doing all he can to modify deep metaphors to become commercial and appealing to the party lovers as well. Teephlow raps in Fanti but I think I can include him in the “TWI” category. I think he is using the advanced form of conventional metaphors—and that is using the usual or everyday life metaphors in a more creative and modified way. I think it is working for him and luring listeners to gradually fall for his music. (Listen to his latest song here )
This is another intelligent rapper who goes over our heads most times and one requires a sound and clear mind to be able to uncover some of his lines. Flowking Stone has been lucky because, he is good with commercial songs which contains more conventional metaphors. It is not surprising that, people always want to listen to his commercial side even more than when he gets in his rap beast mode. When he is all about rap, we pour libations and meditate to digest some of his rap lines. Once again, those of us who appreciate deep rap will always love to listen to someone like Flowking Stone. ( Listen To His Latest Release Here )
If you know of any artist with the gift of metaphors and he or she raps in Twi, and their names are not mentioned, please drop their names in the comment box and we will look for their songs to listen. Don’t forget to tell us what you think about this article and if we judged wrong, don’t hesitate to tell us your judgment.